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HomeOpinionColumnSaying what you mean and meaning what you say can be funny

Saying what you mean and meaning what you say can be funny

By: Keith Kappes
Carter County Times

To those individuals who still believe that plain talk is the easiest to understand, I dedicate these true stories.


I was in line at a college faculty retirement reception. The man next to me was a few years away from the same circumstance. 

Trying to pass the time, I asked if he had any special plans for retirement. He quickly said “yes” and that his plan would involve a full-page ad in the local newspaper. 

Curious, I pressed him for the details on how he would leave academe. His response caused me to laugh out loud. 

“My ad will consist of a list of names of some of the folks I’ve worked with at this institution. The headline will say in large black letters that the following individuals can kiss my butt”. 

Obviously, he planned to leave town before the ad appeared. 

A few years later, his own retirement was announced and I went to his reception to bid him farewell. 

After shaking his hand and wishing him well, I whispered to him that I was looking forward to seeing his ad in the newspaper. 

He paused, looked around and then whispered back to me: 

“There won’t be an ad. My list got up to a couple of pages and that’s just too expensive for an old man living on a pension”. 


The elderly man was insistent that he be entombed on the top row of the four-level mausoleum. 

The cemetery attendant told him the top row was fully reserved but a spot in the second row down was available. He grumbled for a few moments and then finally agreed to the alternate location. 

Out of curiosity, a bystander asked why it was so important to him to be on the top row which was about 25 feet above the ground. His reply was a classic. 

“I’ll be leaving behind some folks who have threatened many times to do certain things on top of my grave. This way, at least, they’ll have to bring a ladder.”

Keith Kappes can be reached at keithkappes@gmail.com



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